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Started in 2022 by COU COU curators Clare Carswell and artist Peta Lloyd, the BIDDY project represents the work of older women artists who have an ongoing art practice. We challenge lazy stereotypes of the marginalised and invisible older woman and offer alternatives to derogatory descriptions such as 'biddy'. We especially welcome artists who may be returning to practice after a break, or who have come to it later in life.

 

We curate platform events of performance art and exhibitions by older women artists. The large application we had from all over the world for our first BIDDY event in Bath in 2022 told us of the demand for exhibition opportunities as well as for networking between older women artists.

 

We have since presented performance events in Oxford and for the Frome Festival in Somerset. In January 2025 we will curate an exhibition of older women artists, with performance events and talks, in the Glass Tank Gallery at Oxford Brookes University. 

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We work with organisations and venues in the arts and community to organise exhibitions and other events by our artists and to share our work with wider audiences in Oxford and beyond.

BIDDY BOOST is a research and production group that meets monthly for sharing of work in progress, discussion on differing aspects of art practice, and to meet guest artists and curators. We meet in art or community spaces in Oxford city or out in the county to enable access for all.

We welcome women artists over fifty, with an ongoing art practice, living or working in Oxfordshire and further afield. We find artists by word of mouth and by call out in local arts listings and on social media.

 

Led by artists Clare Carswell and Peta Lloyd it supports the development of productive art practice, skill sharing and growing of networks and opportunities. The group of twelve or so artists is a dynamic mix of artists who have worked for decades, some who are returning to productivity after a break and others who have come to art practice later in life and feel they can benefit from regular support and professional development. 

The meetings include informal sharing of works in progress, with group feedback and supportive discussions to develop our ideas. Conversations identify both positive and challenging aspects of maintaining art practice later in life and we decide on actions we can take in order to be more productive and to plan opportunities to show our work. 

 

We invite guest artists to share their work with us and to lead drawing and other activities. Growing trust, friendship and our support networks is an important part of the time we spend together so we ask that artists attend as many monthly sessions as they can. 

We are working towards a major exhibition in Oxford in 2025 and are fundraising for it. 

We are currently an unfunded project. We ask attendees to pay a small fee for attending sessions to cover room hire, modest fees and travel costs for invited speakers and to contribute to the admin, organisation and publicity of the project. We are mindful of keeping our costs low so that we are not prohibiting participation in anything that we do.  

OLD TROUTS

In July 2023 we curated an evening of performances by BIDDY artists at the Silk Mill Studios in

Somerset as part of the Frome Festival.

 

We presented works by Alexandra Holownia, Jenny Wylie, Annie Rapstoff, Denise Bryan,

Annie Wright, Peta Lloyd,Clare Carswell and Giddy Sticks.

FEET UP

We curated an evening of performances by BIDDY artists at the newly re-opened Magdalen Art Space in East Oxford in May 2023. We presented works by Annie Rapstoff, Rhiannon Evans, Janey Carline, Annie Wright, Peta Lloyd and Clare Carswell. We presented the world premiere performance of AYA HUMA by guest artist Denise Bryan and introduced the new performance duo GIDDY STICKS. 

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BIDDY

Our first off-site programme since 2019, due to Covid, we co-curated BIDDY, a performance art programme for FRINGE ARTS BATH 2022 with performance artist & DWELL residency artist PETA LLOYD.

BIDDY celebrated and promoted the work of women performance artists over 50, showing work that challenges negative attitudes and derogatory descriptions of older women, such as BIDDY.

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